The film industry

De Profundis: the agony of filming Oscar Wilde’s last years

Somewhere or other Martin Amis remarks that the reason we have very little idea of what it feels like to go into space is that no astronaut so far can write. If we know very well what it felt like to go through a tropical typhoon, that’s because there was a Joseph Conrad able to tell us about it. Something similar might be said about the experience of real stardom. Although many great actors have published autobiographies, with or without the help of ghost writers, there are vanishingly few that combine honesty with an ability to write. Since David Niven’s unreliable but brilliantly authentic autobiographies, such as The Moon’s a